Shannon Zappala + Regan Kelaher
Here at Mavenly + Co., we are big fans of creating a lifestyle based around what you love. That's why we are also big fans of Shannon, Regan, and the products they create. Shannon and Regan are the co-founders of GOVERRE, a modern wine glass. Both started out climbing the corporate ladder, but they also longed to get out of their 9-5 cubicle. Today, these lovely ladies tell us how they turned their love of wine into a full-fledged business, and share a few of their milestones from their journey.
Name: Shannon Zappala and Regan Kelaher
Twitter or Instagram Handle: @goverregirls
Location: San Diego
Occupation: Co-Founders of GOVERRE, a modern to-go glass for wine
Age: Shannon: 43; Regan: 40
Secretly Obsessed With:
Shannon: The Real Housewives Franchises
Regan: NPR/Guy Raz’s “How I Built This” podcast
On My Nightstand:
Shannon: Picture frames filled with family and friends
Regan: My Kindle and dust!
Last Thing You Read:
Shannon: "Big Little Lies"
Regan: "A Walk Across the Sun" by Corban Addison
How did you get started on your career path?
Shannon: It was time! I had worked in corporate America previously, and then decided to stay home to raise my daughter. Once she started school full time, I had more time on my hands. This is when Regan and I decided that we wanted to start a business. We thought with my marketing background and her finance degree, we could create something fantastic!
Regan: A psych 101 professor at Clemson told my class that 90 percent of us would end up in middle management. I scoffed at the idea that the time. Fast forward 12 years and that was exactly what I was doing. I was sitting in my grey little cubicle and decided I had to do something different. I didn't know what I was going to do, but Shannon and I got to work brainstorming ideas.
What key elements played into your success?
Shannon: Key elements to my success are drive, passion, support from my family, and a thick skin.
Regan: Tenacity and stubbornness. Both Shannon and I rarely give up or quit. There have been so many times people have told us it can't be done, and we figure out ways to get it done.
What struggles did you face getting to this point?
Shannon: While on this GOVERRE journey, I was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time. It came right after our airing on Shark Tank which, as you can imagine, was the busiest time for us. I fought it. I beat it. However, I couldn’t have done it without Regan’s support. She, seamlessly and without complaint, handled the business when I couldn’t.
Regan: So many. Most were internal doubts or feeling like an imposter. “I can’t do this.” “I don't know enough about manufacturing or running a business.” “I’m not smart enough to do this.” We had/have plenty of real struggles as well, like when our first Kickstarter campaign failed miserably.
Who was the biggest influence in your professional life?
Shannon: My husband. He is the smartest, most professional, hard-working, business-minded guy I know. Too cheesy for this interview? ;)
Regan: My mom. She earned her BSN and Masters degree while working full time and raising three children. With those degrees, she created a very successful career and an even better retirement.
When do you feel most successful?
Shannon: I feel most successful when we get a customer or store raving about our product. I also feel successful when I hear my daughter talking proudly to her friends about how her mom invented a "cool wine cup."
Regan: I wouldn't say that I was successful… yet. Recently I wrote down a list of milestones that if I achieved would define success. A dollar amount in my bank account, a specific dollar amount in my children's college account, a vacation a year, etc. I don't want to be guilty of moving the goalposts and not being grateful for the success we have achieved.
What’s the best piece of advice you received?
Shannon: “If it was easy, everyone would do it.”
Regan: I was in the checkout line at our local Trader Joe's with two small crying kids. I started crying and the checker told me, “Don’t worry, you will only mess them up a little bit." I started laughing. As a mom, you feel so guilty about everything: working too much, not being present enough, are they getting everything they need to be successful, are they getting too much? I took a step back and realized that I am doing the best I can, and my kids will be just fine!
What advice would you give to women looking to enter your industry/space?
Shannon: Do it! The road is not easy, but to build and create something of your own is the most rewarding feeling and worth every hurdle.
Regan: Do it! Look around, if all of these other women can do it, why can't you?
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Shannon: Beating breast cancer twice and getting a deal on Shark Tank with three Sharks.
Regan: Moving out of the garage and into our office and warehouse. It made me feel like GOVERRE was legitimate and moving in the right direction.